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ISSUE 117 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/30/2004

12 stars for eclectic 12 Rods concert

By Shannon Merillat
Contributing Writer


Friday, April 30, 2004

When 12 Rods lead singer Ryan Olcott invited audience members up on stage last Saturday night, his openness was reminiscent of a similar invitation from ManPlanet, who played in the Pause a week earlier. However, in no way did the music of 12 Rods resemble that of ManPlanet, or any other band.

Many bands claim to hate the idea of having to categorize themselves, arrogantly seeking a unique image they do not really deserve. They resist labeling themselves for expedient reasons, not because they truly are one of a kind. Not so with 12 Rods. In fact, it may be impossible to categorize this indie rock band as any single genre.

When asked how they would describe their music, band members agreed on "odd." They refuse to be limit themselves to a type of music. The bands sound has been described as geek pop, progressive pop, prod rock and space rock, all of which were accurate descriptions at different times during the show.

This diversity of musical style was evident during Saturday's concert. During one angst-filled song, "You Gotta Go," Olcott put down his rainbow sticker-adorned guitar and writhed about the stage, wrapping himself around amps and speakers. During the following song, all the band members jumped around the stage and Olcott did a headstand.

The band's play list was eclectic, featuring songs from all four of their CDs  "Split Personalities," "Lost Time," "Gay?" and "Separation Anxieties.

Some audience members found the band's transcendence of musical genres a bit disquieting. Rachel Bjorhus '07 said, "They seemed kind of indecisive. I thought the constant shifting of genres was disorienting, and that it made them lose momentum."

Audience members also seemed reluctant to join the band on stage, or even to stand closer than 20 feet away from the stage. It wasnt until halfway into the concert, after much pleading on the part of the band, that students inched their way closer to the stage.

The band members exuded energy, which literally rubbed off on the audience: they entered the stage masked in white cardboard boxes, which the audience later tried on while dancing on stage.

12 Rods was warm and receptive to their audience. After finishing the set list, they willingly obliged to some fans request to play two more songs, including "Time is Right" and "Twenty-four Hours."

Regardless of what one thinks of 12 Rods' eclectic musical style, their energy and playfulness made for a stellar show and a good time.





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